'I'm Marion Cotillard and THIS IS JACKASS!' *moves a train into a street*
'I'm Dileep Rao and THIS IS JACKASS!' *drives a van off a bridge*
'I'm Ellen Page and THIS IS JACKASS!' *jumps off a building, grabbing a reluctant Cillian Murphy with him*
'I'm Tom Hardy and THIS IS JACKASS!' *blows up a fortress*
'I'm Joseph Gordon-Levitt and THIS IS JACKASS!' *crashes an elevator - in no gravity*
'I'm Ken Watanabe and this bullet wound gave me Alzheimer's. Who am I again?'
'I'm Leonardo Di Caprio and THIS I--'
I'm not going to really cheat this review, though. Just a joke I've had for that person, summing the movie up in seven (actually six and a half lines). The movie has its strengths and weaknesses. It's not my favorite movie, but I can enjoy it and still watch it every once in a while with friends. The concept is interesting and they open up enough of a dialogue with the study of dreams to encourage both intellectual masses on the subject and then make it an accessible enough cinematic experience to bring in the laymen like myself. But they don't delve too much into it, and it's a bit too torturous of a tease. It doesn't say enough on the subject in the first third of the picture.
|My best friend showed me this pic. You gotta admit you saw this meme coming.|
Move on to the third act, where they begin sort of saying a bit too much. The cinematic meaning of 'show, don't tell comes to mind.' I think Christopher Nolan is a directorial giant, he's on his way to better things, it's all the more sweeter that he's commercially successful, which means whatever movie projects he should attempt now, since The Dark Knight trilogy has wrapped, he's going to get any project he wants funded. He can make a sequel to Birdemic and it's going to be funded by everybody in film with money. But he can't write well. He just can't. He either puts too much or puts too little. If a moment of realization occurs, he has the character say 'I realize this', he doesn't have enough trust in the nuances of the acting. When he introduces his characters, they are all two-dimensional. Arthur has no arc. Eames has no arc. Yusuf has like an arc that involves 'Huh, I don't go into dreams. Okay, I'll go into dreams' and that's it. The only characters with an arc are Cobb and, to a lesser degree since it gets swallowed up by the action of the third act, Ariadne. Not even the homicidal ex-wife has an arc, she just starts crazy and ends crazy.
|'That's right, I have no problems with your unstable |
psychological fugue appearing in my dream threatening death.'
However, at least it makes it's plot in threes for easy accessibility to the audience. It's obvious there's a beginning, a middle and an end. And the picture does make a great use of introduction in its opening sequence, allowing us to fully know the details of the mission Cobb and company will be given before he is even offered the job. The train/riot/party sequence could make for it's own short film for its very efficient use of establishment.
This does not change the fact that the visuals are very rewarding as a piece unto themselves. The work put into even the computer-generated effects is very apparent and worthwhile. I'd love to be present on the set to see all this work. Chris Nolan and Wally Pfister certainly have a knack for camera movements and visual elements. The soundtrack ain't too bad neither, with an instant icon of a theme and a revival of Edith Piaf in it of its own.
Overall, I give it a 7 out of ten. Majorly style over substance, but the style really makes for a modern sci fi adventure that could endure long after the life of this blog and portray an icon of our entry into the 2010s.
I discovered Dream Theater has taken to utilizing a piece of score in opening its usual concert setlist. Lol, get it? Dream Theater? Dream? I thought it was funny, man...